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EducationCOPPER BOTH NEAR AND FAR

4th Nov 2019 23:36 UTCGareth Evans

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Above is an example of refined Copper (99.9%) that I cast in one of my graphite molds. The bar is about 100 mm x 40 mm x 25 mm and was cast from electrolytic grade copper balls. 

The surface was machined in my mill. Depending on personal preferences the bar could have been polished and the edges machined smooth too. 

I think the wrinkled look add appeal to the Copper bar

4th Nov 2019 23:37 UTCGareth Evans

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I have always been fascinated by the chemical element Copper and its many and varied minerals. 

I recently acquired a very nice specimen of Azurite on matrix from the Copper Queen Mine in Arizona. It could easily pass for an Azurite from the Burra Burra Mine in South Australia.  

Above is a photo composite of the Bisbee Azurite. It is composed of 100’s of Azurite blades.  
These can be seen in the enlargement (FOV 25 mm) above.

5th Nov 2019 02:52 UTCGareth Evans

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Above is a photo of a gem quality Malachite from the Burra Burra Mine. In the years 1850-65 the mine produced 1000’s of tons of gem quality Malachite, a large proportion of it in the form of botryoidal Malachite with a natural high polish. A particularly large slab of Malachite was used to make a table top for one of the mine’s Directors (owners). I believe the table top is now located in Germany. 

Next to the Malachite is a cone of Burra Burra Copper, perhaps the only one in existence. Some 20 years ago I took all the low-grade specimens in my possession and extracted the Copper by the methods used in the 19th century Swansea Smelters (Wales). The cone is about 50 mm wide at the base.  

It would be a simple exercise in Chemistry to extract a few 100 kilograms of Copper from the now flooded open pit at Burra. This Copper could be cast and machined to make a fine memorial to what was once a great mine.

5th Nov 2019 09:46 UTCLarry Maltby Expert

Interesting stuff Gareth. It looks like you are bringing a new perspective to Mindat. Looking forward to future posts.

5th Nov 2019 12:33 UTCRolf Luetcke Expert

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Gareth,
I have always enjoyed the copper mineral posts you have added to mindat.  My wife Mary has always thought the Australian specimens look very similar to our local Bisbee specimens.   I agree and we have a number of Australian specimens also to show how similar they look in our display cabinets.
This is an azurite we got a few years ago.  Fun thing was it was in a room of a German dealer.  It is an old Copper Queen Mine piece and had traveled to Germany and then back to Tucson.  We purchased it and took it with us on a trip to Bisbee to visit the friend who runs the Copper Queen Mine tour.   We showed him the piece and he agreed, it came right from the mine we stood by.  So, the piece made a long trip and then go to see its home again.
Keep posting Gareth, the copper minerals are some of our favorites.

5th Nov 2019 12:35 UTCRolf Luetcke Expert

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This is the reverse side of the above piece so not only great azurite but the malachite on the back side is chatoyant and   is fantastic in sunlight.

5th Nov 2019 12:42 UTCRolf Luetcke Expert

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Bit of an oddity from Bisbee.  The acicular azurite was a bit rare in Bisbee and the ex geologist from Bisbee told me it was quite rare and was primary azurite.  He had some checked and that is what it turned out to be.
The piece here came from a bit of an unusual source.   About 25 miles from Bisbee is the Mexican town of Agua Prieta.   Back in the early 1970's we used to go there to visit a gentleman who ran a rock shop in town.  He was well known by collectors and had fine things coming from the mines in Mexico.  He was a kind man and often purchased specimens from the Bisbee miners to help them out.   Some he put in his little shack in the back patio for sale but much of what they brought he only bought to help them out and when they left he tossed on piles in the yard.  We purchased three of those piles, each about a thousand pounds of accumulated specimens.  The above azurite was among them.  This one was from a fist size chunk that was all the soft hematite visible at the left and looked like nothing interesting on the outside since it had been tumbled around quite a bit and the crystals on the outside smashed.  But the break revealed this wonderful scene inside.  One of my favorite pieces from those three piles of rocks and confirmed by Richard Graeme.

10th Nov 2019 13:35 UTCVictoria L. Williston

Stunning piece!

5th Nov 2019 12:47 UTCRolf Luetcke Expert

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Gareth, 
Hope you don't mind my adding to your great thread.
This is a piece of copper from a SE Arizona mine called the Johnson Mine and is from their plant there.   A geologist friend worked at the mine and gave us a handful of the copper pieces they would pick off the edges of the equipment from the plant.  They normally got tossed into a barrel to be shipped at some later date.   

5th Nov 2019 12:48 UTCRolf Luetcke Expert

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Here is the underside of the same piece where it had formed around part of the equipment.

5th Nov 2019 21:20 UTCGareth Evans

Many thanks for sharing – and I do like your Bisbee material – pure eye candy – great stuff.

I was looking at the d-block elements in periodic table of the chemical elements and came to the conclusion that Copper shows a much greater range of naturally occurring and easily collectable chemicals (minerals) than any other element. You can get some great eye candy crystals with the other elements such as V, Cr, Mn, Fe Co and Ni but few occur in nature.

5th Nov 2019 21:29 UTCGareth Evans

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I decide to call this thread copper both near and far because I am within driving distance of four historical copper districts – Kapunda, Burra. Kadina and Wallaroo-Moonta.

Most of my copper minerals come from overseas localities – Congo, Russia, China and USA.

Above is a photo of a lovely Malachite from the DRC, and it was originally in the collection of Gilbert Gauthier, a well-known collector of material from the Congo. The Malachite has a beautiful outer layer of crystalline Malachite and the banded nature of the material is evident in the photograph. It is pure eye-candy but with a lot of historical and scientific interest.

5th Nov 2019 22:12 UTCHiro Inukai

A fair number of these botryoidal malachite "stalactite" formations look for all the world like poo from some creature that eats copper but is otherwise lacking in dietary fiber intake.

5th Nov 2019 22:41 UTCLarry Maltby Expert

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It is interesting that you showed a malachite with a Gilbert Gauthier label. I knew him years ago, He came to the Detroit Show every year with many specimens from Shaba-Zaire. I acquired this copper from him. Here is the information:

Copper (5.5 X 5.0 cm) Lake Superior. This is an old specimen from Alexandre Stuer of Paris circa 1900 to 1920. It shows an interesting cast of a quartz crystal.

The old Alexander Stuer label came with the specimen.


 

5th Nov 2019 23:03 UTCRolf Luetcke Expert

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Here is one from another famous Arizona Mine, Mammoth St. Anthony Mine or Tiger, Arizona.    The piece is 2x3cm and copper from this mine is actually quite hard to get.

5th Nov 2019 23:28 UTCGareth Evans

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Above is shown two aspects (front/rear) of an Azurite nodule from the Poteryaevskoe Mine, Rubtsovskoe Cu-Zn-Pb deposit, Rudnyi Altai, Altaiskii Krai, Western-Siberian Region, Russia. The specimen is about 75 mm long and it consists of two balls of bladed Azurite. This specimen is very similar in appearance and morphology to the Azurite nodules from the Burra Burra mine.

I consider myself very lucky to have acquired a full set of Copper minerals (Azurite, Cuprite, Copper and Copper after Cuprite) from the Poteryaevskoe Mine. When specimens from the Poteryaevskoe Mine first appeared on the mineral market for sale, the prices being asked for display quality material was just too much for a retired scientist to afford. I bought my specimens when the prices fell – as is the usual case with most minerals, for example those from the Milpillas mine.

5th Nov 2019 23:37 UTCJolyon Ralph Founder

Looks like you got a nice sprinkling of the copper iodide marshite on that azurite, Gareth.

6th Nov 2019 01:27 UTCGareth Evans

I actually never even considered the possibility of Marshite!!

6th Nov 2019 01:29 UTCGareth Evans

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Shown above is one of my first Milpillas mine acquisitions. It is a matrix specimen hosting some very ‘electric’ blue Azurite crystals. The specimen is 80 mm x 80 mm x 50 mm.

I obtained this specimen and many other Milpillas pieces after the prices had fallen substantially. It is always a gamble – wait and miss out or wait and score the jackpot.

6th Nov 2019 13:02 UTCRolf Luetcke Expert

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I thought this one uploaded yesterday but it is not there today so here it is again.  It is another specimen from one of the nice Arizona locations, from Ajo, 45 bu 55 mm in size.  We were lucky to get this one in a collection of about 50 pieces we purchased a few years ago.

6th Nov 2019 13:08 UTCRolf Luetcke Expert

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A friend brought over a batch of these a number of years ago for us to sell for him.  We did consignment sales at our shop and the nice thing is with consignments is that if we wanted to purchase any we set them aside and any of the others that sold we just gave the friend all the money so no out of pocket expense.  These Los Olivos, Chihuahua Mexico were great specimens and we never saw many of them for sale.  This one is 35 by 30 mm in size.

6th Nov 2019 13:13 UTCRolf Luetcke Expert

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This is the larger one from Los Olivos and is 5x4cm in size.   Those were called Cashmere Rose by the seller.   

6th Nov 2019 21:30 UTCGareth Evans

Dear Rolf:

Many thanks for sharing the photos. I think we have a lot in common as far a copper minerals are concerned.

Gareth

6th Nov 2019 21:32 UTCGareth Evans

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MILPILLAS NATIVE COPPER

When I collect mineral specimens, I try to combine two interests – the scientific one and the pursuit of eye-candy. Native Copper from Milpillas was never world-class, but it should form an essential part of any mineral collection that hopes to understand the genesis of the oxidized ore-body at the Milpillas mine.

Above is a photo (front/rear) of a small cabinet specimen of Native Copper from the Milpillas mine. It hosts oodles of Copper crystals and it does have a lot of eye appeal. I have also included a few close-up shots (FOV 3 mm) of some of the copper crystals to be found on the specimen.

6th Nov 2019 23:07 UTCGareth Evans

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COPPER after CUPRITE

Shown above is a small cabinet specimen (100 mm x 40 mm x 35 mm) of Copper after Cuprite from the Poteryaevskoe Mine, Rubtsovskoe Cu-Zn-Pb deposit, Rudnyi Altai, Altaiskii Krai, Western-Siberian Region, Russia. Included are two close-ups (FOV 3 mm) of some of the Copper crystals. The piece consists of about 5 stacked octahedrons of Copper after Cuprite.

I was very lucky to acquire a full suite of minerals from the mine when interest in the mine waned and the prices for collector quality material fell to more acceptable prices.

7th Nov 2019 01:17 UTCGareth Evans

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Chinese Malachite

Above is a photo of one of my cabinet sized Chinese Malachite specimens from the Shilu Mine. The photograph does not do the piece just, for it has a lovely chatoyant luster with lots of sparkle.

I mounted on an acrylic stand that I made some eight years ago. I am thinking about getting a computer-controlled engraver so I can permanently label the acrylic stand.

7th Nov 2019 20:25 UTCGareth Evans

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Another photo of the Chinese Malachite showing that a lot depends on lighting. 

7th Nov 2019 20:38 UTCGareth Evans

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Above is another Australian Malachite. This piece consists of a botryoidal mass of Malachite on matrix with minor native Copper. It also has a nice chatoyant luster which is hard to capture in the photograph. The piece is 50 mm x 50 mm x 40 mm, and it comes from the Red Dome Mine, Mungana, Mareeba Shire, Queensland, Australia.

7th Nov 2019 21:33 UTCGareth Evans

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I have always had a fondness for sulphides and sulfosalts. I have acquired many nice pieces from the mines in Bulgaria, Romania, Bolivia and Peru.

Shown above is a beautiful Bulgarian Chalcopyrite with minor Sphalerite on a matrix of Quartz needles. The specimen is 140 mm x 75 mm x 65 mm, and the largest Chalcopyrite crystal is about 45 mm wide.

7th Nov 2019 22:13 UTCRolf Luetcke Expert

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Gareth, 
Here is a native copper we found from China, has small but nice crystals.  Size is 9x8cm.

7th Nov 2019 22:16 UTCRolf Luetcke Expert

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This one is an odd situation.  At the San Manuel smelter they had an electric shut down and one molten bucket had to be discarded.   The bucket was left to cool and then dumped on the ground for the workers to be able to take what they wanted home.  This one was given to me by one of the fellows working there at the time.   As the slag cooled it grew the copper wires inside holes.   Piece here is 30x15mm.

7th Nov 2019 22:18 UTCRolf Luetcke Expert

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Here is a close up of the one above this and is 8mm field of view.

7th Nov 2019 22:21 UTCRolf Luetcke Expert

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This last one is from the flooded mines in Bisbee. A friend working at the mine was in the bottom of the Lavender Pit and said one of the old tunnels they had broken into digging the pit was flooded at the lower part of the tunnel.  The old timbers had been sitting in the copper water for many years and copper was depositing in the wood.  This herringbone piece was in one of the pieces of wood, the wood patterns can be seen below the copper.  Field of view is 3mm.

7th Nov 2019 22:30 UTCRolf Luetcke Expert

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This piece is from Bisbee and when I split the copper and cuprite containing chunk.  Inside was something quite unusual.  When it split, it split exposing copper crystals on one side and their caps on the other side.  I had fits trying to get good photos of this piece.  The great part was that the copper crystals had been coated by a layer of gold, which allowed the crystals to come apart from the caps so nicely.  The caps were also coated in gold.  Specimen is 15x15mm in size.

8th Nov 2019 01:45 UTCKevin Conroy Expert

Rolf, do you have any photos of the electrum on copper after cuprite crystals from the 700' Level of the Cole Shaft?

8th Nov 2019 12:56 UTCRolf Luetcke Expert

Kevin,
Sorry, I don't have any photos and in fact, no specimens of it from the Cole.  I do have several thousand photos of Bisbee minerals since I lived there for about 15 years but not the electrum.   Most self collecting was not able to access any of those old places and from purchases there it never was available.  The Graeme family probably has it in their collection but no idea if they have any photos.

8th Nov 2019 13:31 UTCRolf Luetcke Expert

Kevin,
Just looked at the 2018 update of minerals listed for Bisbee and the mineral electrum is not on the list although it is for the list on mindat.   Don't know where that listing actually came from.   It is not listed on Richard Graemes list of minerals.   Seems it is possible for it to be there but it doesn't show up on Dick's list.

8th Nov 2019 14:20 UTCKevin Conroy Expert

Rolf, this is surprising to me because Dick verified the location for me (second-hand through a friend who personally asked him about it).   I wonder why the info wasn't recorded in the book.   I had the specimen analyzed so the electrum is confirmed.

8th Nov 2019 14:35 UTCRolf Luetcke Expert

Kevin,
Then it seems there is information missing in both his book and any other confirmation.  He is definitely the source for all "Bisbee" so a personal verification is certainly enough for me.   So, that one is then confirmed and the one thing I know is that Doug told me and so did Dick, they were doing a lot more analysis at the various places the old specimens were housed, Smithsonian and so forth.    Doug told me about cassiterite in the massive bornite and I actually found some.  Still new minerals coming out of Bisbee.
Thanks for the information.
That book in the works needs more updates all the time I guess.

8th Nov 2019 19:33 UTCKevin Conroy Expert

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Here are some photos of the Cole Mine specimen.   I don't have the equipment to take great close-ups, sorry.

8th Nov 2019 20:10 UTCGareth Evans

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I also enjoy collecting a few decorator pieces too. The polished Malachite shown above comes from the Mashamba West Mine, Kolwezi mining district, Lualaba, DR Congo.

8th Nov 2019 20:30 UTCGareth Evans

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Shown above are photos of an Atacamite from the Mount Gunson Copper mines (Pernatty Lagoon - Mount Gunson Cu Deposits), Pernatty Lagoon, Stuart Shelf, South Australia, Australia.

The specimen is composed of oodles of platy crystals of Atacamite as can been seen in the two accompanying close-up shots (FOV 3 mm).

8th Nov 2019 23:08 UTCGareth Evans

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To add different dimensions to my collection I occasionally add interesting decorator pieces with an educational bent. The polished Malachite slice shown above comes from the Mashamba West Mine, Kolwezi mining district, Lualaba, DR Congo.

Many people find the piece interesting. It reminds them of the growth pattern seen in wood. The slice enables the collector to highlight a feature with Malachite that is not often seen in large botryoidal specimens.


8th Nov 2019 23:22 UTCRolf Luetcke Expert

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Gareth, love all your posts of pieces, the polished ones are nice as well and make for a well rounded display.
We were given a piece from a friend a number of years ago and it rounded out our own collection of various localities of malachite.  The piece had been part of a box the friend had and it got dropped and the bottom busted.  He had the lid intact and sent it to me to make things from in my jewelry making days.   I loved the piece and decided to keep it in tact.   The piece is 6 by 8 centimeters.

8th Nov 2019 23:24 UTCRolf Luetcke Expert

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Another decorative piece in our cabinet is the African sphere 7cm across.

9th Nov 2019 00:52 UTCGareth Evans

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Dear Rolf:

Many thanks for your contributions, they are genuinely appreciated.

Keeping with the theme is green shown above are a few photos including three close-ups (FOV 3 mm) of one of my Brochantite specimens from the Milpillas Mine, Cuitaca, Santa Cruz Municipality, Sonora, Mexico. These specimens grew within seams, which accounts for the orientation of the Brochantite crystals. The crystals are a beautiful ‘gemmy’ green with chisel tip terminations. The largest are about 20 mm in length.

9th Nov 2019 14:00 UTCRolf Luetcke Expert

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Gareth,
This piece has a little story.   It is 14 by 8 cm in size.  A friend who would bring things to sell on consignment at our place stopped by one time with several pieces he had just gotten from a show.    This piece he said he had gotten for $50 from a fellow that said it was Bisbee.  He said that Bisbee malachite never had chrysocolla with it and it must be from Africa.   The fellow ended up selling it cheap since the African was not anything like the Bisbee.    The friend said he wanted $75 for it and I just went and got my wallet and paid him the money.  I told him it was Bisbee malachite and he was arguing with me because of the chrysocolla and I took him to my mineral room and showed him the piece under the microscope and showed him it was allophane and not chrysocolla.  Oops was all he could say.  I felt sad for the fellow he got it from but happy we now had a big Bisbee malachite for what we gave him for it.
Shows that sometimes one has to take a closer look to make sure one sees the right mineral association.  He was correct, Bisbee never had chrysocolla with malachite but this was not chrysocolla.  Oh well, it sits proudly in our cabinet.

9th Nov 2019 14:01 UTCRolf Luetcke Expert

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This is one of my favorite Bisbee malachites, only 3mm field of view but such a perfect cluster of crystals on iron oxides.

9th Nov 2019 20:58 UTCGareth Evans

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Hello Rolf:

Many thanks for uploading such interesting pictures. I think you should also put together a ‘family album’ of minerals too.

Keeping with the green theme I have attached a front and rear shot of another Milpillas Brochantite from my collection. This style of Brochantite with the thicker crystals came out some time after the original Brochantite specimens that consisted of ‘hair-like’ clusters of crystals.

When Milpillas material first appeared on the market the cost of display worthy specimens was well beyond my budget. I was lucky that the mine was such a prolific producer of display quality material that waiting a few years certainly enabled me to acquire material that I could not afford in the early days of the mine.

9th Nov 2019 21:25 UTCGareth Evans

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Shown above is a large cabinet specimen of botryoidal malachite from the Mashamba West mine. It displays some of the most bizarre formations I have hitherto seen in a Malachite from anywhere.

I consider African Malachite specimens to be totally under rated because of the large amount available for sale. There was a time when the Burra Burra Mine produced 1000’s of tons of gem quality Malachite, yet few examples exist even in Museum collections today.

9th Nov 2019 23:48 UTCGareth Evans

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Above are some photos of another of my Milpillas Malachite specimens. It is a large cabinet piece with a beautiful chatoyant luster. The photos do not do the piece justice!

The specimen is dominated by a very sharp and a very large Malachite pseudo crystal after Azurite. The crystal is about 55 mm tip-to-tip.

10th Nov 2019 12:49 UTCRolf Luetcke Expert

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Following the green and blue copper species, this is a single connellite crystal from Bisbee.  The crystal is about 2mm long.

10th Nov 2019 12:54 UTCRolf Luetcke Expert

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This piece has a bit of history.  It is actually a post mine piece and comes from the Douglas Smelter, where they processed the Bisbee ores.  When the smelter was being taken down, one of the fellows working to remove the bricks to be used elsewhere, they took a few of the splatter pieces along.   One ended up in a friends collection and he let me break off this piece from a larger one.  It is 5 by 4 centimeters in size.  It contains other metals besides the copper.   

10th Nov 2019 19:08 UTCGareth Evans

Rolf:

Many thanks for the photos and your support in keeping this thread alive.

10th Nov 2019 19:09 UTCGareth Evans

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Above is a few photos of a cabinet specimen of another Malachite from the Milpillas mine. I believe this style of Malachite appeared in the mineral market about the same time the oxidized ore zones at Milpillas had been depleted. It is now part of my suite of minerals from the Milpillas oxidized ore zone.

The Malachite specimen hosts oodles of acicular crystals of Malachite along with two balls of Malachite. The close-up photos (FOV 3 mm) indicate that the Malachite is growing from a core of what might be Tenorite (?).

10th Nov 2019 21:00 UTCGareth Evans

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Above are two photos (front/rear) of a cabinet sized Azurite from the Milpillas mine. The most noticeable feature is the complete absence of Malachite. The crystals are bladed and blocky with a luster that depends on the direction and intensity of the lighting.

Most of the so-called electric blue Azurites from Milpillas were in fact Malachite specimens with a thin veneer of Azurite. For me, acquiring what might be best described as a ‘primary Azurite’ was a bonus.

10th Nov 2019 21:29 UTCLarry Maltby Expert

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I thought that it would be interesting to introduce the color red to this thread. This is a vein of red calcite from the Allouez Conglomerate Mine, Keweenaw Co. Michigan. The red color is due to the dense inclusions of cuprite. The 15 X insert shows that minuet crystals of cuprite diffuse into a solid red color. The 40 X insert shows a fibrous texture suggesting the variety of cuprite, chalcotrichite.

The specimen at the top is in the Seaman Museum and the inserts are photos of a Tom Rosemeyer specimen.

10th Nov 2019 22:13 UTCKeith A. Peregrine

Absolutely amazing, Larry!

10th Nov 2019 23:58 UTCPaul Brandes Manager

There are still specimens like this that can be found at Allouez, but rarely this size anymore.

10th Nov 2019 22:47 UTCRolf Luetcke Expert

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Larry,
You are right, so far not a lot of red.  This is a massive cuprite with most likely tenorite from Bisbee that worked into great cabachons, this one 30x40mm.

11th Nov 2019 01:55 UTCLarry Maltby Expert

Beautiful cab, Rolf. The copper mines produced a lot of colorful materials for cutting.

11th Nov 2019 14:30 UTCRolf Luetcke Expert

Bit of a story about that cuprite cabachon.   A friend was cleaning out his flats of "stuff" he had in his garage and stopped by one time to pass those along to us for little money, all Bisbee material and he wanted $10 a flat for 7 flats of Bisbee "stuff".   No way not to pick up on that.
The cuprite was one of a lot of pieces that went into our collection, including a number of cabinet grade delafossites that were as good as I had seen.
I ended up selling one of the cuprite cabachons for about the same as I had paid for all of the flats.  This one I kept.

10th Nov 2019 22:51 UTCRolf Luetcke Expert

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The chalcotrichite from Bisbee can be kind of nice also, this one is 4mm across.

10th Nov 2019 23:34 UTCGareth Evans

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Moroccan Copper and Cleaning Copper

Above are two photos of the same Cabinet sized Native Copper from the Bou Nahas Mine (Bou N'hass Mine), Oumjrane, Alnif, Alnif County, Tinghir Province, Drâa-Tafilalet, Morocco.

The Copper from this mine has much eye-appeal when properly presented. Unfortunately, many display an unattractive green patina, which is a mix of copper oxychlorides and other species but not Malachite.

They are easily cleaned using a technique called the British Museum Method. I do not use acids or abrasives to clean Native Copper.

So now you see how green can become red!!!


11th Nov 2019 00:00 UTCGareth Evans

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CUPRITE

Above are two aspects of a very large (75 mm tip-to-tip) mono-crystal of Cuprite from the Poteryaevskoe Mine, Rubtsovskoe Cu-Zn-Pb deposit, Rudnyi Altai, Altaiskii Krai, Western-Siberian Region, Russia.

Unfortunately, there are only a very few hints of red. In normal lighting the mineral looks a little purple, but mostly a metallic grey luster – very nice though.

11th Nov 2019 13:21 UTCRolf Luetcke Expert

Gareth, 
I remember when those hit the market and were so affordable, we picked up one for our collection also.
Also, those azurites from Milpillas are very nice.  The guys who had the first load of those to come out stopped at our store in hopes we would be interested since we were one of the first rock shops in the US on the way to Tucson.   Unfortunately we were poor back then and we steered the fellow to the friend in Phoenix who did have the money to plunk down.  Oh well, we missed out on that one big time.  The guy did sell us one hand size piece for a hundred bucks, still in our collection.

11th Nov 2019 22:12 UTCGareth Evans

Rolf:

Many thanks for uploading and keeping this copper thread alive. When the Russian Cuprite specimens first came out the prices being asked where astronomical. I downloaded a few screen shots of what some high-end vendors were asking a few years ago. One high end vendor wanted $4000 USD for a Russian Cuprite about the same size as the one above, but his piece had a lot of dings. He claimed that large Cuprite crystals like the one I showed above from Russia that were free of damage were selling for $25,000 USD. 

11th Nov 2019 13:10 UTCRolf Luetcke Expert

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Larry, this is an odd piece.  Friends had told me it was nuts to actually try and cut connellite.   It was a piece a fellow in Bisbee, John Hargis, had actually slabbed and gave me a slab one time.   I also couldn't believe he had cut it but since it was already cut, I went ahead and gave it a polish.   Probably one of the oddest polished piece in our cabachon collection.

11th Nov 2019 13:14 UTCRolf Luetcke Expert

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Also a piece from John Hargis, this Bisbee copper-Campbellite was quite large, 12 by 10.5 cm in size.   

11th Nov 2019 13:17 UTCRolf Luetcke Expert

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Another one from Bisbee that is not normally cut and polished, a Bisbee covellite.  Again 30x40mm cab.

11th Nov 2019 13:32 UTCRolf Luetcke Expert

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Gareth,
Here is that azurite the fellow sold us when he came through.  It is 8x10cm and has malachite on the reverse side.   Not the brilliant cluster of the better material but for us it is a nice reminder of what could have been.

11th Nov 2019 22:14 UTCGareth Evans

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Above is a very interesting piece from the Liufengshan Mine, Guichi District, Chizhou, Anhui, China. I acquired this piece about 10 years ago – it is a large cabinet geode hosting oodles of Azurite roses on onside of the geode and Azurite converting into Malachite on the other side. It has a lot of eye-candy appeal.

11th Nov 2019 22:15 UTCGareth Evans

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Close-ups (FOV 50 mm) of the two style of Azurite (or is it Malachite?) roses.

11th Nov 2019 22:23 UTCGareth Evans

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Some more close-ups (FOV 50 mm)

11th Nov 2019 22:57 UTCGareth Evans

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Shown is a cabinet specimen of Native Copper from the Burra Burra Mine. The mine was world renowned in the 1800’s for the high quality of its Malachite. Native Copper was always a minor mineral, and when found the crystals were small (1-2 mm).

When I collect specimens with a focus on locality, I tend to show no discrimination whatsoever. I collect the good, the bad and the ugly. Native Copper from the Burra Burra mine was always the proverbial plain Jane when compared to the quality of the mine's Malachite specimens.

12th Nov 2019 12:36 UTCRolf Luetcke Expert

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This one I called my malachite bunny with azurite ears.  It is only 4mm across but a cute little critter.  From the Last Chance Mine, Courtland Arizona.

12th Nov 2019 12:41 UTCRolf Luetcke Expert

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We had seen Lavrion azurite but all in the past was small.  This one we purchased only a couple of years ago and was a nice size of 17 by 9cm with not only nice crystals but a half dozen or more other species with it.  Added it to our growing world wide copper species collection.

12th Nov 2019 12:45 UTCRolf Luetcke Expert

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These were available for a while but don't see them much these days, azurite on gypsum, post mine from the Ray Mine in Arizona.   Leaching through a part of the dump seems to have produced these.

12th Nov 2019 12:47 UTCRolf Luetcke Expert

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Close up, 4mm, of one of the azurite on gypsum crystals from the Ray Mine.

12th Nov 2019 12:50 UTCRolf Luetcke Expert

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This small cluster, 3mm field of view, is from a small prospect near Portal Arizona.  The host rock here was white quartz so difficult to get a clear shot of the dark azurite.  In this case a cluster of twinned crystals which I have heard are hard to find in azurite.

12th Nov 2019 12:53 UTCRolf Luetcke Expert

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Sometimes you find a piece that looks polished but is natural.  This azurite from Helvetia Arizona was where a natural break exposed the wonderful inner patterns in the azurite, view 4mm across.

12th Nov 2019 18:27 UTCErin Delventhal Manager

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I'd hate to not see one of the most spectacular examples (in my opinion) of copper pseudomorphs represented here:  copper ps. azurite, Copper Rose Mine, Georgetown Mining District, Grant Co., New Mexico, USA. ~5cm.

12th Nov 2019 19:55 UTCGareth Evans

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Malachite after Azurite pseudo??

Above is a small cabinet specimen of Malachite from the Milpillas mine. It is claimed that was once upon a time the dominant mineral was Azurite. Now, the thick tabular crystals of Azurite have been preserved as the mineral Malachite.

12th Nov 2019 19:57 UTCGareth Evans

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Above are a few close-up shots of the malachite crystals. The crystals have a very wet look, accompanied with a nice chatoyant luster.

12th Nov 2019 21:10 UTCGareth Evans

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Above is a cute small cabinet plate of Quartz points hosting some very sharp Chalcopyrite crystals. The specimen come from the Yaogangxian Mine, Yaogangxian W-Sn ore field, Yizhang Co., Chenzhou, Hunan, China. Hidden within the Chalcopyrite crystals are a few small Pyrite crystals.

12th Nov 2019 21:11 UTCGareth Evans

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Some close-up shots of the above Chalcopyrite specimen.

13th Nov 2019 19:41 UTCGareth Evans

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Above are a few photos of a lovely cabinet sized Chalcopyrite with Quartz from the Boldut Mine in Romania. It hosts some large and complex crystals of Chalcopyrite.

Romanian minerals, like the country itself are exceptionally beautiful in my opinion. I hope to collect more in the coming months.

13th Nov 2019 19:42 UTCGareth Evans

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Some close-up shots of the crystal groups - Boldut Chalcopyrite

14th Nov 2019 13:28 UTCRolf Luetcke Expert

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These are some tetrahedrite crystals we found at a small prospect near Portal in SE Arizona.   The photo shows 4mm size crystals.

14th Nov 2019 13:31 UTCRolf Luetcke Expert

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This association was one of my favorite finds and is also from the same small prospect near Portal Arizona.  It was only a 3mm group but the association was a first for me, azurite crystals, some actually growing on the sides of the pyramidal wulfenite crystal, had never seen that before.

14th Nov 2019 13:34 UTCRolf Luetcke Expert

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Here is an aurichalcite that I collected in Bisbee, in the Southwest Mine. Fun association again, with the hemimorphite and calcite.  Field of view is about 6mm across.

14th Nov 2019 13:37 UTCRolf Luetcke Expert

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This is another interesting association from the Southwest Mine in Bisbee, the elongated aurichalcite crystals with the shorter and more acicular rosasite crystals.  Very similar colors but different crystal habits.  Fild of view is 5mm.

14th Nov 2019 13:38 UTCRolf Luetcke Expert

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Here is why I love the microscope, being able to take a photo of a 1mm azurite crystal that was a real beauty.  Not anything to view with the naked eye but this crystal was one of the nicest I had found.

14th Nov 2019 13:43 UTCRolf Luetcke Expert

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Here is one of the hard to get specimens of paramelaconite with brochantite in massive cuprite, a 2cm field of view, from the Ojuela Mine.

14th Nov 2019 17:16 UTCEric He

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Here's a nearly facet-grade single crystal of azurite from Milpillas.

14th Nov 2019 19:35 UTCGareth Evans

Rolf and Eric

Many thanks for uploading your photos. I truly appreciate your efforts.

Gareth

14th Nov 2019 19:47 UTCGareth Evans

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Above is a front and rear shot of my first Milpillas specimen. It is a cabinet piece of malachite after Azurite and it is associated with a little Plancheite (???). It contains some very dramatic bladed crystals of Malachite after Azurite. Choice!

14th Nov 2019 20:40 UTCGareth Evans

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A very dramatic small cabinet specimen of Cornetite associated with a green mineral, perhaps Malachite. My first African Cornetite from L'Etoile du Congo Mine, Lubumbashi, Haut-Katanga, DR Congo.

14th Nov 2019 22:07 UTCRolf Luetcke Expert

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This Milpillas piece is a bit unusual.  It is a malachite after azurite but the luster is quite high and dark.  The piece is 5 by 6 cm and a gift from the man I sent the first seller of the material to in Scottsdale.  He gave us this piece as a gift for sending him up with the first great batch of material.

14th Nov 2019 22:08 UTCRolf Luetcke Expert

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Another view of the above piece from Milpillas.   

14th Nov 2019 22:13 UTCRolf Luetcke Expert

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Here is another Milpillas Mine piece, plancheite in quartz polished to show the acicular nature of the mineral.  4mm field of view.

14th Nov 2019 22:15 UTCRolf Luetcke Expert

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Here is another plancheite but in this case from the Shangulowe Mine in Katanga DR of the Congo.   Field of view is 4mm.

14th Nov 2019 22:19 UTCRolf Luetcke Expert

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Another plancheite but in this case a pseudomorph after quartz from the Shangulowe Mine also.  This is 9mm across field of view.

14th Nov 2019 22:22 UTCRolf Luetcke Expert

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My favorite plancheite is lying under crystal clear quartz here from the Morenci Mine in Arizona.  A neighbor had lived in Morenci as a young man and used to look for cutting material on the dumps and found some of this and gave us a good size piece and when I split it, inside was this pocket.  Field of view is 7mm.

15th Nov 2019 01:00 UTCGareth Evans

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Above is another of my botryoidal Malachite specimens from the Mashamba west mine. It is a cabinet piece that looks a lot like the material from the Burra Burra Mine.


15th Nov 2019 01:01 UTCGareth Evans

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A few close-up shots (FOV 3 mm) showing the growth of the botryoids on and about the matrix.

15th Nov 2019 13:10 UTCRolf Luetcke Expert

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Gareth,
Going along with an earlier post where you commented about the Cu being able to link with so many different elements and make a wide range of interesting minerals.   Here is one from Musonoi, one of my wife's favorite, cuprosklodowskite with malachite, 6mm field of view.

15th Nov 2019 13:11 UTCRolf Luetcke Expert

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A close up of one of the clusters with a 5mm field of view.

15th Nov 2019 13:16 UTCRolf Luetcke Expert

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From the Grandview Mine in Arizona, another acicular mineral, blue this time, cyanotrichite that is 5mm field of view.

15th Nov 2019 13:18 UTCRolf Luetcke Expert

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Another Grandview piece and in this case, cyanotrichite with chalcoalumite, 6mm field of view.

15th Nov 2019 20:16 UTCGareth Evans

Dear Rolf:

Many thanks for uploading the photos – very nice. The more photos I upload the more I am coming to the conclusion that Copper dominates my collection, and probably many collections around the world. Copper seems to just ‘pop’ up everywhere either as the dominant element or a major accessory element in most minerals. So I think your wife is correct!


15th Nov 2019 20:16 UTCGareth Evans

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Above is a cabinet plate of Tetrahedrite from the Casapalca Mine, Casapalca, Huarochiri Province, Lima, Peru. It displays three periods of mineralization. On the very bottom of the specimen is a rich bed of fine-grained Pyrite. Above the pyrite is a layer of Sphalerite, and growing on top of the Sphalerite are some large, very sharp, striated and lustrous crystals of Tetrahedrite to 40 mm in width. Tetrahedrite is mined for Copper or Silver and sometimes both. So, Copper finds a way to be included in even the multi-element sulfosalts.

15th Nov 2019 20:18 UTCGareth Evans

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Some close-up shots (FOV 40 mm) of some of the Tetrahedrite crystals on the specimen above.

15th Nov 2019 21:59 UTCGareth Evans

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Copper to be found Everywhere!!!

Above are two photos of a lovely Tennantite from the Mundo Nuevo Mine, Huamachuco, Sanchez Carrion Province, La Libertad Dept., Peru. This small cabinet specimen hosts several sharp, mirror-bright tennantite crystals to 30 mm. The individual crystals exhibit artistic triangular growth patterns and the corners of the crystals are truncated by the negative tetrahedron form.

Mundo Nuevo has been best known for its Hubnerite, quartz, fluorite and Augelite. In recent years there have been occasional excellent finds of tennantite. The Tennantite shown above is one of over forty specimens recovered during the 2014-15 specimen mining venture. Of all the specimens recovered and analysed everyone was shown to be Tennantite, except one that was borderline tennantite-tetrahedrite.

17th Nov 2019 22:30 UTCRolf Luetcke Expert

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Here is a nice grouping of brochantite crystals from Bisbee.  Field of view is a bit over 4mm.  

18th Nov 2019 13:32 UTCRolf Luetcke Expert

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Gareth, 
Wonder if you ever came across these?   They came onto the market a few years ago as "pseudomorphs" after the glauberite from the Verde Valley Arizona.   My folks lived in the area and I asked them to check the place out since the short note came out about these in Mineralogical Record.  They found the three replacements of the original glauberite but none with any color.   We also went to the canyon the next visit to my folks and no mine anywhere nearby that could have colored them.   Mary said they were making them and I got out my chems and started experimenting.   After a few tries I came up with the exact method they were using to make them and actually wrote an article about this.
The solution we used was crushed copper ore with a number of minerals from a local mine and some dilute HCL and after a day they were a light green but after two days this is what we got.
A number of friends had purchased the "pseudos" as real and we had to tell them they were fake.
Just thought I post this here also since there are schemes like this out there.

18th Nov 2019 18:32 UTCGareth Evans

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Hello Rolf:

Your wife, Mary is very perceptive regarding minerals.

I am very careful about buying pseudomorphs of any kind. As a Chemist I am aware of all the chemical tricks some folks play to enhance a specimen – and some mechanical tricks too.

I have seen a few specimens of Stibiconite that are probably Stibnite that have been chemically treated to give the illusion of true Stibiconite.

Now that I have a nice Bisbee Azurite, I am very keen to add a Malachite and a Native Copper also from Bisbee.

I have included another Cuprite from Poteryaevskoe Mine, Rubtsovskoe Cu-Zn-Pb deposit, Rudnyi Altai, Altaiskii Krai, Western-Siberian Region, Russia. It consists of a few very sharp crystals, and the largest is about 30 mm tip-to-tip.

They have few hints of red but possess more of a metallic grey luster with hints of purple.

 
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